Her Majesty - September 25, 2022 - UK 2

Dear friends and family,

The day before the Queen’s funeral, Sunday, people began queuing up in droves, for miles along the planned route. There were so many crowds (We’ve heard an estimate of 2 million people) that a whole section of Central London near Parliament and Buckingham Palace was blocked off to almost all traffic. No buses or taxis were passing through, detouring across the Thames. We ended up walking to Tate Britain and back again, sometimes coming to a standstill as we encountered pedestrian traffic jams. Almost every London shop had a commemorative poster or photo of the Queen, which was quite touching.

As always, click on photos for a larger view.

An interesting quote from C.S. Lewis (and I am not a C.S. Lewis fan),
"Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters."

Of course, with royalty, it’s the luck of the draw. In general, royalty, especially British royalty, probably have an outstanding education, so that may skew them more towards sanity and a broader point of view than the average person. But that quote did make me think of the outrageous characters who are idolized in our country. I think Elizabeth II did a mostly excellent job of creating a stabilizing, civilizing influence. Undoubtedly, she was well-paid for her efforts. We’ve been watching The Crown here, which we had dropped, but it's fun to see in the UK.

We finally arrived at the Tate Britain; they had installed a mammoth procession by Hew Locke, which snaked its way through the entry hall and into some of the gallery rooms. Great fun and with lots of visual cues re politics and colonialism.

Many of the sculptures were life-size and so the audience sometimes blended in.

We hadn’t realized our friend, Faisal Abdu-Allah’s work would be up at the Tate. He said he hadn’t realized it was still on display also.

Faisal's work is displayed between the Hew Locke procession installation and the fabulous Turners that Tate Britain has.

More pageantry outside.

Getting ready for the procession.

Miles long on both sides of the river.

Our train schedule was changed — not because of strikes, which is the usual, but because of the funeral on Monday, our day of travel. We suspected this could happen and so checked at the train station.

Much love,

Era and Don